Giuliano Mauri is a ‘poet of the branches’ and generator of the “plant buildings”, defined as “natural architecture“ that lives temporarily and then, inevitably, returns to nature.”
Working with branches and trunks of wood he constructed fantastically real buildings. The assumption, related to the natural transience of the material used, is that nature will fill the gaps left by the decay of the wood, working in a sort of partnership with the artist.
His works live as long as a ‘breath of life’ of the materials used, they are imposing structures but they will rot. They are the symbol of a lofty thought that can disorientate but also move the viewer.
All the art works of Giuliano were based on listening to the spirit of the place, from where was born all of a sudden, the unexpected: ” … It is never a question of inventing, but rather to discover, understand something that is already there, to hear it. And then to give it body.” His attitude recalls that of Michelangelo who thought of the block of marble as a treasure chest that already contained the work that needed to be discovered by removing the “overburden”.
In Val di Sella, in the exhibition Arte Sella, he created an emotional architecture by bending young trees so that they ‘agree’ and can share an idea. Nature will then take over. For him, the trees are wood, sap, leaves, fruit, but they are also the life, death and, above all, rebirth. He bent the branches not to dominate, but to invite them to mould themselves into an idea and a sign that it is a process of invention.
Projects such as the Tree of the Hundred Nests or Wanderer’s Island/Raft of Migrants arouse wonder and reveal the expansiveness of his thought. It is a work about immigration of the future, just like a big floating log, filled with soil, inseminated by the wind, breeding future trees, and once it reaches the bank of the river they become trees, bushes and woods. Not only rafts, but from nature to nature in a hymn to brotherhood.
Giuliano Mauri the author of these works is not self important, he is a stranger who intervenes with his ideas and returns to nature what he has done. This is exactly how the architects of the Chinese gardens centuries ago planned and realized great works, without affixing their signature, and returned from time to time, quietly arranging, tidying up, because the real star was Nature and not man.
How many shapes can you create, how many horizons can be opened with what falls in the woods, even in the incredible spherical scenery ‘Sferisterio’ for Bellini’s Norma directed by Abbado! Is not this the perfect realization of the concept of sustainability in architecture?